Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Psychology


While productivity loss associated with employees’ absence from work and periods of short and long-term disability has been studied extensively, absenteeism and disability represent only a proportion of an employee’s overall level of lost productivity. Presenteeism is also a major contributor to lost productivity that has been less comprehensively examined. Many different conceptualisations of presenteeism exist in the literature, and despite some recent insights into the mechanisms that underpin presenteeism, there is still a need for further theoretical development in this emerging area. Therefore, this doctoral thesis has two main objectives: (i) to further clarify the pathways that link presenteeism with its antecedents; and (ii) to review and refine the way presenteeism is defined and operationalised. To address the first objective, a conceptual model of presenteeism is developed (Chapter 2) and empirically tested using path analysis (Chapters 3 & 4) and meta-analysis (Chapter 5). The second objective is addressed by conducting a thematic analysis of the definition of presenteeism and a meta-analysis on the effects of different presenteeism operationalisations (Chapter 5).



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.